Day 365: At last, how sweet it is

At last!

This is my final and last post of the 365 Days Thank You Card Challenge and I’m so happy it’s FINALLY over! 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself as a designer for an entire year and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve never made myself do something like this, and it was hard at first, but got much easier as time went on. Some days I found my inspiration right away, while other days I was almost beating my head against the computer desk to come up with an idea.

You have to understand something about creative people.

There is no way to turn on creativity like a light switch. You can’t flip a switch and expect something creative to flow out. Creativity takes time and happens when you least expect it. It cannot be forced or rushed. There’s a process behind it. You have to go away from what you’re supposed to be doing, and find something else to occupy your time. When your mind isn’t thinking about the design, then the ideas will start to flow like a bowling ball rolling down the ally. First the ideas start out slow, and then the momentum picks up and things are whizzing right by you. Soon you have so many ideas coming out your head that you can’t stop it. It’s like when I volcano finally erupts. It just bursts into the air and there’s nothing that will stop it. The same when creative has finally kicked in.

However, now that I’m putting this design challenge to bed, I can focus my attention on other things in my life and hopefully, more client projects.

I love being a designer and creating something out of nothing for my clients. It’s a cool process to stare at a blank page on the computer only to find out later that you’ve created a finished product that either seen by billions of people online or something you can touch and feel with your hands. I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything else, but it’s what makes me, me!

As for the Thank You card designs I’ve created all year, some I love and others I wish I could have done something different.

Here are a few of my previous favorite cards:

01.08.14 Inspired by Paris and the 1950s © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.08.14 Inspired by Paris and the 1950s
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.20.14 Inspired by water © 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.20.14 Inspired by water
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.19.14 Inspired by a patterned box © 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.19.14 Inspired by a patterned box
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.15.14 Inspired by a branding board © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.15.14 Inspired by a branding board
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.25.14 Inspired by a typography image © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.25.14 Inspired by a typography image
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.28.14 Inspired by Cincinnati © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.28.14 Inspired by Cincinnati
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.27.14 Inspired by another designer © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.27.14 Inspired by another designer
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.06.14 Inspired by a WordPress website © 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.06.14 Inspired by a WordPress website
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.05.14 Inspired by a web graphic © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.05.14 Inspired by a web graphic
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.06.14 Inspired by soap packaging © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.06.14 Inspired by soap packaging
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

And at last, the final Thank You card in this design challenge.

Thank you all for being a part of my journey to become a better designer.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.31.14 Inspired by New Year's Eve © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.31.14 Inspired by New Year’s Eve
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 358: The numbers keep getting smaller

Wow…In just four more days, we’ll be at the very end of 2014 and this design challenge.

I can’t believe how fast this month is flying by!

It’s like someone hit the fast forward button because the days are flying by so fast they are running together.

Anyhow, with everything moving so fast, that means I only have a few more Thank You cards to design until this design challenge is over.

Woo Hoo!!!

I’m just ready for a much needed break and change of pace.

Okay, let’s move onto today’s Thank You card which is inspired by a tutorial.

I’ve been using Illustrator for years, and use it on a daily basis, so I’m pretty familiar with the software and it’s capabilities until I found a new tutorial for something that I’ve never done, wrap text in a shape. Now, I can put text in a shape, but I’ve never needed to know how to wrap the text in a shape for a client’s project. However, I found a tutorial on it, so I decided to put it to the test.

Let me know what you think.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.27.14 Inspired by a tutorial © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.27.14 Inspired by a tutorial
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 356: Find peace and strength in others

Today is Christmas, and since I don’t celebrate the holiday (I never have or never will) I spent part of my day at the movies.

Up first on my list was Night at the Museum because I had already seen the first two when they were released in theaters.

I like the movie, and it gave me some laughs to put me in a good mood. However, I prefer the original one the best.

Afterwards, I saw a second movie, Big Eyes staring Amy Adams who portrayed artist Margaret Keane, most known for her work in depicting children with big eyes. The movie was inspired by true events in Keane’s career as an artist when her second husband, Walter Keane, claimed to be an artist and took credit for her artwork for 10 years.

It was a powerful and beautiful movie.

I connected with Keane because I am an artist, and I know how hard it is to make a career out of painting and have your work not only recognized and see by people, but also buy it. People have seen my artwork online, and in various shows in Los Angeles and the Northern Kentucky markets. I have sold a few pieces and was even commissioned to paint two images. Unfortunately, my career as an artist is not an easy one because I haven’t been able to live off what I earn, so graphic and website design is where I find a way to earn a living as well as working at the store.

It’s not an easy path to take to make it as an artist, but Keane’s fame to her work came with the lies her husband spewed when he claimed her artwork as his own. It was so heartbreaking to see someone else taking credit for art.

However, there is another reason why I connected with Keane, but I won’t reveal that right now because I don’t want to spoil the plot of the movie for you.

So, today’s Thank You card is inspired by Margaret Keane. This is my version of ‘big eyes’ created in Illustrator as opposed to canvas and acrylic paint.

Let me know what you think.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.25.14 Inspired by Margaret Keane © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.25.14 Inspired by Margaret Keane
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 351: Eleven more days until the end

Just 11 more days until the end of this design challenge, and I’m ready.

It’s been exciting to push myself as a designer in creating a Thank You card every day this year, but it has been hard with family losses, and other things getting in the way.

Anyhow, let’s get onto today’s card because I have to get ready for work tonight.

Today’s Thank You card is inspired by a dress because I liked the whimsical design of the flowers. So, I tried to replicate them into a card.

Here it is.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.20.14 Inspired by a dress © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.20.14 Inspired by a dress
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 349: My day started off good

My day started off good, and then quickly went downhill when I learned that I had already paid a bill off in full back in February, and the CA Franchise Tax Board was trying to charge me twice!!!!

I recently realized the bill had already been paid when I looked at my Expense list and saw it listed. Of course, naturally I found my receipts and sure enough, the bottom portion of the money order was stapled to the invoice. The date on the money order was 2/21/14 – so I had paid the bill in full!

I am so irritated with them that I could kick them to the moon and back, 12 times. I am beyond frustrated, and exhausted.

So, today’s Thank You card is inspired by laziness because I’m too tired and lazy to think about designing a card.

The moral of today’s story: Hold onto your receipts and paper trail because you never know when you’ll need them to prove your case.

Here is the card.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.18.14 Inspired by laziness © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.18.14 Inspired by laziness
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 348: Two weeks until the challenge is over

Exactly two weeks today ends this Thank You card design challenge that I started for myself at the beginning of the year.

I didn’t know if I would survive and be able to keep up with this challenge, but some how I have managed to do so.

It’s going to be really weird not creating a Thank You card everyday next year. However, the challenge has taught me it’s easy to pick up a habit and establish it. You just have to find the right one.

So, here is today’s Thank You card inspired by Bologna City Branding on Behance.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.17.14 Inspired by Bologna City Branding on Behance © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.17.14 Inspired by Bologna City Branding on Behance
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 344: I’m running out of things to say

It’s very unusual, but I am running out of things to say for today’s post.

I am tired, I have to work later, and I’m ready for this year to be over with. Actually, I’m ready for winter to be over with and it hasn’t even started yet!

Okay, let’s just move onto today’s Thank You card which is inspired by Busk’s album cover. I have no idea what genre of music Busk is, nor did I look it online. I just like the fact that their album cover has big, bold colorful graphical shapes that created an interesting design. So, I recreated it into a Thank You card and put my own slight twist on it.

Here it is.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.13.14 Inspired by Busk's album cover © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.13.14 Inspired by Busk’s album cover
© 2014 Stacy Schilling